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The HR Specialist: California Employment Law

The California Supreme Court has ruled that when and how state employees can file whistle-blower lawsuits depends on which agency they work for. For example, regular state employees can sue if they first ask for a ruling from the State Personnel Board …

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A legal secretary who formerly worked for the law firm Townsend and Townsend and Crew recently filed a motion for summary judgment on her claim that the intellectual property firm owes her money under a long-term disability claim regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act …

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It isn’t enough to fix discrimination and end harassment when you find out about it. Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) your organization has a duty to prevent it …

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The presidential campaign has everyone talking politics, and inevitably a lot of that talking takes place at work. As the campaign season moves toward the general election, many employers are re-examining their workplace policies concerning political activities and speech. Evidence suggests employers must educate employees concerning workplace political speech …

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The California Senate Appropriations Committee recently held up a bill that would have required all employers in the state to give workers paid sick leave. Under the bill, known as the “California Healthy Families, Healthy Workplaces Act,” employees who work in the state for seven or more days in a calendar year would be entitled to paid sick days …

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For California employers, even minor wage-and-hour violations can wind up costing employers millions of dollars. Blame it on California’s infamous “multiplier effect,” which can come into play in any wage-and-hour case, but which really adds up in class-action suits …

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A California Court of Appeal has held that California Labor Code sections dealing with overtime compensation, meal breaks and rest breaks don’t apply to California’s “charter counties.”

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On July 11, a California state court issued a restraining order prohibiting Local 3299 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) from invoking a planned strike against facilities at the University of California …

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Under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it is unlawful for an employer to harass an employee based on the employee’s age. And employers are strictly liable for workplace harassment if the harasser is a supervisor. As a practical matter, that means HR must make sure no supervisor or manager makes any kind of comment that suggests any kind of age bias …

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Employees who claim they suffered emotional distress because of illegal disability discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act don’t have to rely solely on the workers’ compensation system to adjudicate their claims. They can go to court instead, suing for negligent infliction of emotional distress under state common law …

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